I just read the following article.
Scout's Honor--written By PETER ZUCKERMAN
In the article, the writer outlines a horrific account of how a young scout leader in Eastern Idaho got away with molesting 27 boys over several years, despite countless warnings that he was a pedophile.
The argument was that his Bishop vouched that he had taken proper steps towards recovery and that he was a returned missionary now.
If you want the full acount, read the article.
After reading the story, I began to ponder a sticking point I have within LDS communities, and perhaps all religious communities--although I can't pretend to know about others since my experience is pretty limited in that regard.
Too many times, we forget that spiritual crimes are also against the laws of the land. But within religious communities, we believe that by simply trying people within spiritual courts that justice has been served. A man who has gone through a repentance process with his Bishop has certainly undergone a spiritual trial of sorts, but it does not excuse his obligation to face his responsibilities as a citizen of the land, as well as a member of a church community.
Render unto Caesar... separation of church and state...
Justice must be served. The bishops job is to help the criminal to find peace, forgiveness and to change through the power of Christ. While spiritually we believe that only God will judge his crimes and know his heart--I believe true repentance can only come after a person pays their debt to society by acknowledging their sins in court and paying for their crimes in order that justice in the land might be served.
So why is it that so many sexual offenders get such limited sentences?
This is one example. I can think of several examples of similar instances where someone guilty of sexual abuse never paid for their crimes within the justice system.
So my soap box tonight is this: when a man or woman breaks a law of the land-- how can they possibly have repented of their crimes until they have paid their debt to society by admitting their actions in court and paying the price that the laws of the land demand?